2 Chronicles 28-31 Have you not sins of your own?

From 2 Chronicles 28-31

13 14 Chronicles thumbHeld against David’s standard Ahaz falls short. He doesn’t tolerate pagan worship, he promotes it. Burning his own sons. He has abandoned the LORD. This cannot go on. The LORD will act to uphold his name and punish the idolaters.

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

Uzziah is followed by Jotham, who in turn is followed by his son Ahaz.

14 Kings-3

28 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And he did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as his father David had done, 2 but he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. He even made metal images for the Baals, 3 and he made offerings in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom and burned his sons as an offering, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel. 4 And he sacrificed and made offerings on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree. (2 Ch 28:1–4)

Held against David’s standard Ahaz falls short. He doesn’t tolerate pagan worship, he promotes it. Burning his own sons. He has abandoned the LORD. This cannot go on. The LORD will act to uphold his name and punish the idolaters.

5 Therefore the LORD his God gave him into the hand of the king of Syria, who defeated him and took captive a great number of his people and brought them to Damascus. He was also given into the hand of the king of Israel, who struck him with great force. 6 For Pekah the son of Remaliah killed 120,000 from Judah in one day, all of them men of valor, because they had forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers. 7 And Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king’s son and Azrikam the commander of the palace and Elkanah the next in authority to the king. (2 Ch 28:5-7)

You might remember from Deuteronomy the curses. They include being defeated by enemies (Dt 28.25-26), foreign rule (Dt 28.36-37) and war. Exile and captivity (Dt 28.41-44) remain. The LORD is not holding back with his warnings. It seems though Israel has gone too far in punishing Judah. Israel is not exactly innocent of sin herself.

14 Obed pleads

8 The men of Israel took captive 200,000 of their relatives, women, sons, and daughters. They also took much spoil from them and brought the spoil to Samaria. 9 But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded, and he went out to meet the army that came to Samaria and said to them, “Behold, because the LORD, the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah, he gave them into your hand, but you have killed them in a rage that has reached up to heaven. 10 And now you intend to subjugate the people of Judah and Jerusalem, male and female, as your slaves. Have you not sins of your own against the LORD your God? 11 Now hear me, and send back the captives from your relatives whom you have taken, for the fierce wrath of the LORD is upon you.” (2 Ch 28:8-11)

They have gone to far, they are guilty of sin themselves. Even when the LORD dispenses judgment he expects justice. He doesn’t enjoy punishing people.

12 Certain chiefs also of the men of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against those who were coming from the war 13 and said to them, “You shall not bring the captives in here, for you propose to bring upon us guilt against the LORD in addition to our present sins and guilt. For our guilt is already great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel.” 14 So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the assembly. 15 And the men who have been mentioned by name rose and took the captives, and with the spoil they clothed all who were naked among them. They clothed them, gave them sandals, provided them with food and drink, and anointed them, and carrying all the feeble among them on donkeys, they brought them to their kinsfolk at Jericho, the city of palm trees. Then they returned to Samaria. (2 Ch 28:12–15)

In a strange turn of events. The captors care and provide for the defeated. The LORD shows grace and mercy even in the context of his just punishment. This event shows the Judgment and the kindness of God. It reminds us when we want to inflict punishment on people who have sinned against us, how the LORD has been kind and gracious to us.

Ahaz doesn’t learn. He pursues idolatry even more. He starts sacrificing to Israel’s gods. Its only a matter of time when the LORD will exile Judah. Hezekiah his son, becomes king after he passes away. Hezekiah did right in the eyes of the LORD. It seems the good and bad kings alternate. They remove all the foreign worship. Then the next reinstate it. Hezekiah cleans up the temple and restores proper worship. He hosts a Passover and invites everyone from Israel and Judah to attend. He speaks for the LORD, calling his people to return to him. There are issues with consecration, but Hezekiah prays for their pardon and the LORD listens.

Story of Israel

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

The prophet Habakkuk and the LORD speak of similar events we have looked at in the passage. Habakkuk deplores Judah’s idolatry. The LORD vows he will punish them by sending the Babylonians to punish them. Habakkuk fears this will be too much. The LORD says he will punish the Babylonians for going too far with the punishment.

“Woe to him who heaps up what is not his own—

for how long?—

and loads himself with pledges!”

7 Will not your debtors suddenly arise,

and those awake who will make you tremble?

Then you will be spoil for them.

8 Because you have plundered many nations,

all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you,

for the blood of man and violence to the earth,

to cities and all who dwell in them.


9 “Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house,

to set his nest on high,

to be safe from the reach of harm!

10 You have devised shame for your house

by cutting off many peoples;

you have forfeited your life.

11 For the stone will cry out from the wall,

and the beam from the woodwork respond. (Hab 2:6–11)

They should have realised they had their own sins to deal with like Israel did with Judah.

Story of Jesus

Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples once asked a question about forgiveness. Jesus responded with the basic principle we have been considering;

21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.

24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.

28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt.

31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt.

35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” (Mt 18:21–35)

When we want to punish those who have wronged us. Remember the LORD has forgiven us of much more.

Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights Reserved.